Rafa’s bath time is a truly treasured moment in our home. From the beginning Patrick and I have bathed Rafa together and now when one of us is missing it doesn’t quite feel the same. Our little man absolutely loves the shower, but this means one of us getting in with him – showers are now more a treat. Just a time to bond and relax. The big bath tub is also a treat, where we practice our dunking and swimming if we don’t get to the pool. On a daily basis though Rafa’s bath time essentials have been simple and consistent: a tummy tub, a bath thermometer (that doubles as a room thermometer…actually triples as a bath toy too), the entire Little Skinfood baby skincare range! and Rafa’s favourite little Babu bunny for post-bath snuggles.
I’ll admit I initially scoffed at the idea of a tummy tub – an overpriced bucket I remember calling it. Patrick made the executive decision to go ahead and order it and I’m so glad he did. Rafa loves it. When he was younger he would fall asleep in there and often remain asleep as we dressed him and transferred him to bed! It still relaxes him a great deal but he now remains awake during baths. It’s a great way to not waste water as you only need a little and the water stays at a comfortable temperature longer. Overpriced bucket was worth every single cent and so much more. The thermometer has also been so useful because we’re able to keep an eye on the water temperature and it provides a consistent environment for baths and sleeps (as we use it in Rafa’s room too).
We’ve been using the Little Skinfood baby range on Rafa since it came out. The shampoo has been particularly lovely for his often dry scalp and has helped keep his hair looking nice and healthy (though, like many little ones, he is losing a bit of his baby hair). Skinfood is a New Zealand based, sustainable and cruelty-free brand and their Little Skinfood range is now stocked in many supermarkets across the country. The products are 100% natural, easily accessible and affordable. They are also certified organic by ECOCERT, this was an important factor for me as sometimes what is advertised as organic turns out not to be. These products are free from synthetic preservatives, colours and fragrances (thank goodness because Rafa still smells delightfully like my newborn little bubba!)
I so dearly look forward to bath time. Sometimes it might be because it has been a long day and bath time (usually within 2 hours of Rafa’s last nap) signals the end of the day for both Rafa and I. But mostly because it is a gentle time for the three of us. The lights are low, the room is warm, sometimes I’ll pop his towel and the blanket his lies on in the dryer so they are warm and snuggly. Our voices hushed and kind. I have really close and soft conversations with Rafa as I undress him. Patrick and I both take turns at washing him. I give him a relaxing massage without a nappy on and in the nude (he has his nappy and singlet on during his morning massage, which Patrick gives him, and is quite firm), he especially loves getting his bottom massaged – something we don’t do in the morning. Patrick and Rafa will then say a little prayer which often includes praying for all the babies in the world, especially those who might be cold and hungry and praying for all their mummies. It’s the sweetest thing. While he’s getting massaged and dressed he’ll hold his bunny (or shove it in his mouth along with his fist) and make gentle sounds as the first yawns appear.
We usually don’t bath him in the tummy tub during the day (day times are for showers and the big bath) but I didn’t want to disrupt our night time routine by having a camera in his face so we took these in the day. Our little bath routine has been something we’ve kept consistent with Rafa since we brought him home from the hospital. Sometimes the actual time of the bath changes (if we’ve gone out to dinner etc) but the routine is always the same and it has helped so much for that first stretch of sleep. It’s his bath time but it’s a restorative and calming winding down period for Patrick and I. I see it as a beautiful reminder that it is just the three of us, and not only is it okay, it is fabulous. You, me, we three, this is just how we be.